RECORD BREAKERS—AUSTRALIA'S flipper-footod swim kids continued to rewrite world record book in Aussie championships at Melbourne, breaking 14 more marks to bring week-long total to 17. Biggest catch (six) was hauled down by barrel-chested John Konrads, 15-year-old Latvian-born freestyler, who whiplashed 400 meters and 440 yards in 4:21.8 (Feb. 18), four days later dipped into pool to thrash 1,650 yards in 17:28.7, set three other records along way: 9:14.5 for 800 meters and 880 yards; 17:28.7 for 1,500 meters. Gasped weary but happy Konrads after being dragged from water: "Those last five yards were the most glorious five yards I ever swam." Other record breakers: 19-year-old backstroker John Monckton, who pinwheeled 200 meters and 220 yards in 2:18.4 (Feb. 18); 20-year-old freestyler Dawn Fraser, who thrashed 100 meters and 110 yards in 61.5 (Feb. 18), 200 meters and 220 yards in 2:14.7 (Feb. 22); 13-year-old freestyler Ilsa Konrads, who traveled 800 meters and 880 yards in 10:16.2 (Feb. 20).
U.S. swimmers also got into act, but on much smaller scale. Sylvia Ruuska, 15-year-old California water sprite, swam mile in 21:37.5 for new American freestyle record at Alameda, Calif. (Feb. 21); Michigan's Cy Hopkins hustled through 200-yard breast-stroke in 2:24.5 to break U.S. standard at Ann Arbor, Mich. (Feb. 22).
John Thomas, lanky high jumper from Rindge Tech of Cambridge, Mass., skimmed over bar at 6 feet 7‚Öù inches in AAU meet at New York, came away with new world indoor schoolboy record (Feb. 22).
BOXING—HEAVYWEIGHT posture was no better defined after fights in Gothenburg, Sweden and New York's Madison Square Garden blew away possible opponents for Champion Floyd Patterson. At Gothenburg, Ingemar Johansson, unbeaten European champion, was chief spoiler, lathering Joe Erskine, considered prospective challenger for London bout, for 13 rounds before Welshman tired of absorbing punches and tossed in towel. In New York, free-swinging Alex Miteff brushed off split nose which gushed gore for most of 10 rounds (see below), outmauled hulking Nino Valdes in blood bath to win split decision which prompted wounded Manager Bobby Gleason to yell "fix!" Said Johansson: "I have no intention of challenging Patterson until I improve my technique." Miteff, too, begged off through his manager, Hymie (The Mink) Wallman, who explained: "He's not ready for Patterson."
March 3, 1958
HORSE RACING—OLIGARCHY, Isabel Dodge Sloane's 4-year-old who had never won stakes race, picked right spot for his first one, running off with grand prize ($95,000) and paying off handsome 9 to 1 in $130,000 Widener Handicap at Hialeah. Coming off fast pace, light-weighted (108 pounds) Oligarchy overtook top-weighted (125 pounds) Iron Liege on stretch turn, pushed to wire by narrow head as young (33) Brookmeade Trainer John Elliott Burch, trembling with excitement, moaned: "I'm dying. I rode him every step of the way."
Jewel's reward, racing's top 2-year-old last year, emerged as Flamingo threat after whip-flicking ride by Manuel Ycaza brought him stomping home ahead of Hubcap and Alhambra in seven-furlong sprint at Hialeah. Raved Ycaza: "Like sitting on a tiger." Another 3-year-old, Nadir, had no such luck, found 126 pounds too much to give away, trailed frisky Sir Robby home by three lengths in 1[1/16]-mile test. But Owner Bull Hancock, with eye on Flamingo, reminded one and all: "Remember, in the big ones they all carry the same weight."
TRACK & FIELD—AAU meet in New York had foreign tinge as three distinguished visitors ran off with titles. Ron Delany, faced with job of catching Istvan Rozsavolgyi when Hungarian gallantly bolted up through heavy traffic to take lead and "make the race" on 10th lap, bobbed his Irish head a little harder, stretched out his chicken-stepping stride a little longer, sprinted through 56.4 final quarter to win mile in 4:03.7, his best time indoors and just 1/10 of second off world indoor record. Yugoslavia's Velisa Mugosa held off Houston's Polish-born John Macy to win three-mile in 13:54.2 while Poland's Zbigniew Orywal (see below), stepped out in 1,000-yard run, won his first U.S. race in 2:14.1. Other winners: NYAC's Bob Backus, who whirled 35-pound weight 65 feet 4¼ inches, further than listed world record but short of Al Hall's 67-foot 9½-inch toss of year ago; Parry O'Brien, who won his sixth straight AAU title with 60-foot 1-inch heave in shotput; Villanova's Ed Collymore, narrow victor over Ira Murchison in 60-yard dash in 6.2 after Dave Sime and Ken Kave pulled leg muscles in semifinal; Villanova's Charlie Jenkins in 600-yard run in 1:11.3; Eastern Michigan's Hayes Jones, who upset Elias Gilbert in 60-yard high hurdles in 7.1; Indiana's Greg Bell, with 25-foot 5-inch leap in broad jump; Herm Wyatt, with 6-foot 7½-inch mark in high jump; Don Bragg and Bob Gutowski, who tied at 15 feet in pole vault. Team champion: NYAC.
TENNIS—DICK SAVITT, regarded by many as having potential to become world's best amateur but more concerned with creating career in oil, made one of his infrequent tournament appearances in U.S. indoor championships in New York, chugged up his big game to overpower Playboy Budge Patty 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 12-10 for title.
SQUASH RACQUETS—HENRI SALAUN, deft-stroking little Frenchman from Boston, played role of retriever against power-hitting G. Diehl Mateer Jr., patiently out-waited and outwitted his opponent to win 9-15, 15-13, 17-15, 15-7 for his second straight national singles title at Annapolis (see page 48).
BASEBALL—FRANK (Trader) LANE, effusive Cleveland general manager, wheeling and dealing like mad in effort to crank up Indians, traded longtime Catcher Jim Hegan, 37, one of two holdovers from 1948 champions (other: Bob Lemon), and Pitcher Hank Aguirre, 26, to Detroit for Catcher J. W. Porter, 25, and Pitcher Harold Woodeshick, 25. Hegan's departure aroused ire of sentimental Cleveland fans but thick-skinned Lane was unruffled: "We are not running an old folks' club."
BASKETBALL—KANSAS STATE rolled past Missouri to remain at top of heap, but season's longest major-college winning streak—19 straight—belonged to Temple after wins over Wake Forest, Villanova.
Boston and St. Louis had NBA titles in their hip pockets while Cincinnati and Detroit clinched playoff berths. Last two Eastern spots were still up for grabs.
HOCKEY—MAURICE (Rocket) RICHARD, at 36 still fiercest of all Canadiens, returned to rink after missing 42 games because of partially severed Achilles tendon, scored twice against Boston, was ready for title-clinching celebration.
AUTO RACING—PAUL GOLDSMITH, former motorcycle daredevil, staged wheel-to-wheel duel with Curtis Turner, pulled ahead in 1958 Pontiac to win 160-miler with 101.18 mph average in final event of NASCAR carnival at Daytona Beach (see page 38).
MILEPOST—HONORED—ROBERT TYRE (Bobby) JONES JR., 55, smooth-swinging perfectionist who topped world's golfers from 1923 to 1930, winner of 13 major titles, including unprecedented and unequaled Grand Slam (U.S. Open and Amateur, British Open and Amateur) in 1930, founder of Masters tournament; voted William D. Richardson Trophy "for outstanding contributions to golf," by Golf Writers' Association of America, at Chicago.